In our day and age, anyone owning their business venture has to have an online presence. Otherwise, they are practically inexistent to the vast majority of people. In-app shopping has become the new normal for e-commerce or m-commerce application of any kind. According to estimations, small-sized retailers will see up to 30% higher conversion rates if their mobile applications are on point. Not only are mobile app payments incredibly convenient, but the technical infrastructure is supported by finance giants such as PayPal, Google, and Amazon. Surely, this trend is here to stay, and it is set to evolve and grow.
Having payments be as fast and effortless as possible, is incredibly beneficial for closing the gap on impulse purchases, as well as easing the whole process. After all, for best results, shopping should be like playing an exciting game at an online casino. What can be easier than to transfer money at the leisure of a few finger swipes? Not much, so it is a win-win situation for businesses and customers alike. How does one build an app that accepts payments and makes them as simple and safe as possible? That is where payment gateways come into the equation. We are here to tell you what that is and how you can implement it in your mobile app design.
Payment Gateways in Mobile Apps
The moving of funds through an interconnected bank network is not a simple task as it has considerable safety risks. While a customer only experiences a few seconds of waiting time until their payments are processed, the underlying process of what happens is quite complex. Fortunately, a payment gateway takes care of all the hassle by providing the service of moving funds efficiently and safely.
These work as a digital portal that connects the mobile application, customer information, merchant data, and bank connections into one cohesive operation. By using encryption and various security protocols, the gateway ensures that everything works smoothly and with as little risk as possible. It can authorize transactions by checking a customer’s funds, move the money to a merchant, and back to a customer in case of a refund. Essentially, a payment gateway is a thought out digital railway system for money.
How to Pick the Right Payment Gateway
What payment gateway is right for you will depend on many individual factors. Naturally, there are benefits and drawbacks associated with different service options. To choose the right payment gateway for your purposes, you should consider the answers to these questions:
Will it be accepted internationally?
In case you only operate in your local area, it may suffice to pick a gateway provider from your region at cheaper rates. However, if you aim to grow your company to cater to an international market, global gateway suppliers will do you more good. The latter choice will always give you broader horizons, but you have to calculate what makes the most sense for you financially.
Is the gateway scalable enough for when your business grows?
Any company seeks to grow its reach and profit; that is natural. As your client base expands, your payment gateway fees could also grow accordingly. It is very important to make sure what kind of increases apply in the case that your business endeavor takes off. Plan and adjust according to your future aspirations so that you won’t have to face excessive fees later down the road.
What does your client base prefer, and is the payment experience smooth?
You never want to alienate your existing customers with unfavorable changes. Make sure to consider what the most popular payment options are amongst your client base. Then expand on that without taking away beloved old payment options. As an overall rule, you want your gateway to support as many payment methods as possible. Additionally, the checkout experience should be as fast and efficient as possible. Try various gateway options and always favor the fastest checkout experience.
Is the option cost-effective?
Payment gateways will usually charge you a flat rate fee, as well as a percentage off of each transaction. Here, you have to weigh your options and consider how scalability affects the price long-term. What may seem cost-effective could turn against you when your business volume increases drastically. Ideally, do not overextend yourself with long-term contracts, so you keep the option to change gateways if you have to.
Integrating the Payment Gateway into Your App
When it comes to the mobile app integration process, it is best to plan ahead. If you are running a huge business, you can also consider getting numerous gateway options that offer different benefits. One option may be great for US clients, whereas another for EU members, and so on. Combining several gateways will give clients a lot of leeway for their payment options, but such a hybrid mobile app can get costly. In most cases, this option is used for very advanced businesses.
Any gateway option you choose will come with a unique Software Development Kit. These kits are responsible for the functioning of the gateways. That is for collecting, handling, and storing all data related to processing the payments. The SDK kits are available on the official platforms of the gateway developers as downloadable packages.
These include all necessary code templates, tools, and frameworks to make the integration process as easy as possible. The SDK packages are engineered to be used by software engineers to embed the gateway into the mobile app with React Native or other fitting developer software solutions. The SDK kits will also feature APIs. They are used to facilitate the management of debit/credit card payments, as well as to contact the backend developers of the application if there is the need to request specific information from the servers. Overall, the payment gateway integration process is fairly straight forward for software engineers, and as the owner, you won’t have to delve into the nitty-gritty of the operation.
Lastly, you will need to decide what level of payment security you will want. The payment gateways are usually safe from the get-go, but there are additional options to add SSL (Secure Socket Layer) and PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) protections in case you need the highest amount of customer data protection. In some cases, these already come with the payment gateways.
The actual process of payment gateway integration may sound complicated but is not. It does not take a lot of time to do. However, the addition will give your business a lot of benefits regarding payment flexibility, 24/7 business availability, and ensured safety. There are many companies that offer payment systems, and some noteworthy mentions are Braintree, PayPal, Google Checkout, Dwolla, and Amazon Payments.
All in all, make sure to adapt your options to your financial budget and choose according to your specific business needs to get the best overall results from your payment gateway. However, it is true that any reputable payment gateway will give you a big boost, and it will be much better than having none at all. The most important factors to weigh when choosing your gateway are whether you want to cater to clients locally or internationally, the included scalability options and the fees. If you have any thoughts or advice on these issues, please leave them in the comment section below!